One of the automotive world's worst science projects is coming to an end. Toyota dashboards have long been known to melt under the heat of the sun. The melted dashes warp and extrude a strange, goo-like substance that is oddly shiny and sticky; like something you'd find in a toddler's coat pocket.
Dashboards in Toyota vehicles dating back to 2003 are melting under the heat of the sun. The melted plastic cracks, warps, and oozes a strange, gooey substance that is oddly shiny and sticky; like something you'd find in a toddler's coat pocket.
The problem is at its worst in areas of high heat and humidity, but reports of melting dashboards have come from all over.
The issue isn’t just cosmetic. The sticky surface reflects a strong glare that can temporarily blind drivers and create dangerous driving situations, and owners have voiced concern that melted areas, particularly around the airbags, can prevent a deployment in a crash.
The first indication Toyota was aware of the problem came in December of 2011 when Lexus (the luxury branch of Toyota) released TSB L-SB-0144-11 titled Interior Panels Sticky / Poor Performance.
Some 2006 – 2008 model year IS 250/350 vehicles may exhibit sticky interior panels that have a shiny/degraded appearance. This condition may be present on the Instrument Panel Pad and/or the Door Panel Trim. Revised interior panels have been developed to address this condition.
Repairs for the problem were to be covered under the Lexus Comprehensive Warranty which lasted 48 months or 50,000 miles.
Multiple Lawsuits Lead to Extended Dashboard Warranty ∞
Toyota opens up extended dashboard warranty and reimbursement program ∞
The lawsuits hit their mark when Toyota announced they would extend the dashboard warranty coverage in 3.5 million vehicles. You might say Toyota wanted to avoid a sticky situation. Or that they felt the heat of pending litigation. OK, I'll stop now.
The following vehicles are covered by customer support program ZE6:
According to the lawsuit, when Toyota first announced the warranty program the automaker notified customers and said it could take months to gather the replacement parts. However, Toyota then sent a second notice that removed the information about a timeline for repairs.
Months have turned to years. Will years turn to decades?
[The plaintiff] says after waiting more than a year for the dashboard to be fixed, her dealership told her there were about 800 customers on the same waiting list and the dealer had received only about 25 replacement dashboards during the past six months.
At that rate, the lawsuit argues, Toyota won’t be able to repair all the affected vehicles within the secondary coverage’s 10-year limit.
"Toyota has failed to meet its obligations under the Program, thereby breaching its promise to owners of Subject Vehicles. In fact, Toyota has been unable to provide consumers with any realistic timeline for effectuating repairs for the Program set to end in May 2017. As a result, Toyota has breached its warranties under its Original Warranty and under its Program, leaving millions of consumers that own Subject Vehicles without an adequate remedy.” - Toyota/Lexus melting dashboard lawsuit